Thomas Mansfield Solicitors Uncompromisingly Reassuring With Compromise Agreements
Employment solicitors confident they can provide good advice to clients presented with compromise agreements.
- (1888PressRelease) January 18, 2011 - Surrey, UK - Compromise agreements can be a convenient means of resolving employment disputes. In the current climate, advising on compromise agreements is a routine activity for employment solicitors.
An employee in receipt of such an agreement on the other hand may welcome it far less. Too often a ( http://www.thomasmansfield.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=43:compromise-agreement&catid=21&Itemid=34 ) compromise agreement is an unexpected surprise and an unpleasant one at that. In those situations the employment solicitor acts not only as advisor but also as confidante and counsellor. The employee relies upon their trusted advisor at what can be a stressful and upsetting time. Thomas Mansfield solicitors assure their clients of a friendly and effective service. We are able to negotiate both the terms of the compromise agreement and the compensation payable to reach a successful resolution.
A compromise agreement is not valid or binding unless the employee has received independent advice as to its terms and effect. For this reason the Equality Act is a cause for concern where there are claims of discrimination to be compromised. As currently drafted, the legislation means that the important role of the employment solicitor may be under threat.
The Equality Act appears to cast doubt upon the ability of the employment solicitor to be regarded an independent advisor. In other employment legislation, it is made clear that for the advisor on the compromise agreement to be regarded as independent, he must not be employed by, or acting as a solicitor for, the employer. If he is, then he cannot be independent. The Equality Act changes this.
The Equality Act states that the employee's independent advisor cannot be a party to the compromise agreement; so far so good. The employment solicitor is rarely a party to a compromise agreement. Where the Equality Act gets confusing is that an independent advisor also cannot be a person who is acting for the employee. On a literal interpretation this suggests that a solicitor negotiating the terms of the compromise agreement, or bringing a claim on an employee's behalf, is not independent and so cannot advise the employee when signing off the agreement. This is the absurd and unintended consequence of the Equality Act.
The government needs to resolve this unhelpful anomaly as soon as possible for the benefit of ( http://www.thomasmansfield.com/ ) employment solicitors instructed to advise on the compromise agreement, but more importantly for the employee seeking advice. The employee may face increased complexity and delay if they are forced to instruct one employment solicitor to negotiate the terms of the compromise agreement and another to advise on it.
About Thomas Mansfield
Thomas Mansfield Solicitors, winners of the Innovation Award at the Law Society's Excellence Awards 2009, are specialists in Employment Law and can provide sound and knowledgeable advice on all legal matters regarding employment, including unfair dismissal, break of contracts and compromise agreements.
For more information please visit http://www.thomasmansfield.com